Black Hawk helicopters are prepared for flight in the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 12, 2020 at the N.D. National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck, N.D.
Joint Exercise Sunbird-Fury involved the dynamic force employment (DFE) of approximately 30 personnel, equipment and an MQ-9 aircraft from the Arizona Air National Guard’s 214th ATKG based at Davis-Monthan AFB and Libby Army Airfield, Fort Huachuca, Ariz., to the North Dakota Air National Guard 119th Launch and Recovery Element (LRE) from Oct. 19 through Nov. 10. DFE is the ability to pick up an MQ-9 unit and move it quickly to operate in another location.
Photo Right - 119th Logistics Readiness Squadron members team up with C-17 loadmasters to unload 214th Attack Group equipment in preparation for Exercise Sunbird Fury at the N.D. Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Oct. 20, 2020. The dynamic force employment (DFE) of equipment demonstrates the ability for an MQ-9 unit to pick up and move to another location to operate.
The 214th ATKG accomplished live-fly, joint-integration sorties with the 178th Attack Squadron (ATKS), at the 119th LRE, along with nearly daily B-1 Bomber integration sorties generated from Ellsworth AFB, SD, as well as approximately 40 joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) ground force personnel.
The JTAC Airmen practiced communicating from the ground with Sunbird-Fury aircraft aircrew members during the exercise to hone their wartime tasking skills related to close air support (CAS) operations. They are often embedded with U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corp forces in forward operating areas, and work to neutralize enemy targets in coordination with the CAS aircraft.
Photo Left - Tactical air control party (TACP) Airmen from the 116th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) and the 14th ASOS, look at an electronic communication device during Exercise Sunbird Fury in Tiger Military Operating Area (MOA), near Camp Grafton South, N.D., Oct. 27, 2020. The Airmen are training with aircraft communications for close air support (CAS) during exercise scenarios simulating their wartime tasking.
Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) crew members were able to pilot exercise aircraft from the 119th LRE, as well as Air National Guard bases in other parts of the United States, during the exercise. Important training objectives were achieved for personnel in each of the participating organizations of the exercise.
Photo Right - An Arizona Air National Guard MQ-9 aircraft is parked next to a 119th Wing MQ-9 aircraft for Exercise Sunbird Fury on the flight line at the North Dakota Air National Guard Base, Fargo, N.D., Nov. 5, 2020.
Soldiers of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, stand in formation while unit leaders present hand-crafted wooden pens donated by the Dakota Woodturners on Nov. 10, 2020, at the Raymond J. Bohn armory in Bismark, N.D.
Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock, Senior Enlisted leader for the N.D. National Guard, awarded coins to Senior Master Sgt. Shane Amundson, 119th Wing Inspector General office, and Staff Sgt. Benjamin Nelson, 119th Security Forces Squadron at Fargo Airbase on Nov. 9, 2020. These non-commissioned officers were recognized for exceptional achievements and professionalism displayed in the daily execution of their duties.